Ivory Toldson Leaving White House Initiative on HBCUs Post - Higher Education
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Ivory Toldson Leaving White House Initiative on HBCUs Post

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by Jamal Eric Watson

Dr. Ivory A. Toldson is leaving his post as executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities at the end of the month to become head of The Quality Education for Minorities (QEM), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to improving the education of African-Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Mexican Americans, and Puerto Ricans.

Toldson will also return to Howard University, where he holds a full-professorship in the School of Education.

Toldson, who was appointed deputy director of The White House Initiative on HBCUs in 2013, took the helm of the Initiative after Dr. George Cooper died last year. A prolific author whose research has focused on shattering pervasive myths about African-Americans, Toldson was recognized in 2013 by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education as an emerging scholar.

During his tenure at the Initiative, Toldson is credited with helping to devise strategies to sustain and expand federal support to HBCUs. A visible presence on HBCU campuses, he directed efforts to strengthen the pipeline of students from secondary education to HBCUs and worked with advocacy groups like the United Negro College Fund, Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education to access resources from the federal governments.

The editor-in-chief of “The Journal of Negro Education,” Toldson began his teaching career as an assistant professor of Southern University in 2002. He’s also worked as a senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Last year, he was a finalist for the presidency of the Southern University System and chancellor of the Baton Rouge campus. Dr. Ray Belton was ultimately selected for the post.

  Would Dr. King Approve?

Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, who was appointed deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education in March, will serve as acting executive director of the Initiative. Reed earned her doctorate in public policy from Southern University and her Ph.D. in broadcast journalism from Louisiana State University. Before joining the Department of Education, she worked at HCM Strategists LLC, a public policy and advocacy consulting firm in Washington, D.C.

Jamal Eric Watson can be reached at jwatson1@diverseeducation.com. You can follow him on twitter @jamalericwatson  

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